Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Andrew Hill - Not So

While looking for the less often played music of the great Thelonious Monk I was thinking that, undisputed and indisputable genius though he was, he got so much more play than another player and even more varied composer, as great if not greater, Andrew Hill.   I went looking and found that there was only one book of his music published and it, apparently,  wasn't even published during his lifetime but was a posthumous production.  I'd post a link but I haven't ordered it yet.  Hill had a far longer, far more active career and one not tragically hindered by the terribly debilitating and as far as I can gather unspecified illness that hampered T. Monk's production.  Yet Andrew Hill is relatively obscure.   So I'm going back to focusing on him for the whole month of June.

Andrew Hill was as great as any of them.   His music is, today.

Now This Is Publicity You Probably Can't Buy

North Korea Praises "Wise Politician" Donald Trump

State media hopes American voters will reject "dull Hillary."

So, a fat young dictator has a yen for a fat old prospective dictator.   I knew the dad bod fad would lead to tears. 

Hate Mail

While I don't have time to write the whole argument out this morning, the short form is that the left that performs as an effort to make the old commies of New York City, Chicago and other Northern Mid-Western cities, as well as a few on the West Coast  feel like they were fighting the good fight instead of being self-indulgent, foreign dictator duped numskulls who turned off the majority of even the very people they claimed to champion, is not going to go anywhere or do anything except waste more time.  

That is what a good part of the energy, resources and time spent on nostalgia of the left is based in. The anarchists, the Wobblies, the various Communist and their feudin' and fussin' cousins, the memory of deluded and stupid third-parties and their absurd presidential candidates,  all of those defrauded a lot of naively idealistic people who might have meant well but were a burden to the real left.  

And the nostalgia buffs of the left want us to waste our efforts on that fraudulent mythology, even now.   If you don't learn to avoid the disasters of the past as you are taught to revere and emulate them, you are never going to do what the left exists to do. Anyone who finds that offensive can soak their heads, it's ever so much more offensive to waste any more decades on that kind of self-indulgence when there is a real catastrophe to avoid, real lives at risk.  

Monday, May 30, 2016

Thelonious Monk - Hornin' In

Kenny Dorham, trumpet
Lou Donaldson, alto sax
Lucky Thompson. tenor sax
Thelonious Monk,  piano
Nelson Boyd, bass
Max Roach, drums

Let's Cool One 

Clark Terry, flugelhorn
Thelonious Monk, piano
Sam Jones, bass
Philly Joe Jones, drums

How Has The Sanders Campaign Devolved Into Something Reminiscent of Jim Crow Vote Suppression?

Bernie Sanders' latest tergiversations and downright sleazy strategy to game the Democratic convention in his favor is blatantly anti-democratic as well as anti-Democratic.  His alleged strength in the process has been based on his strong showing in the voter-suppressing caucuses, the extent to which that is true is embedded in these paragraphs comparing the caucuses and primaries at Fivethirtyeight.

Counting only caucuses, Sanders has won 63 percent of the vote, 64 percent of the delegates and 11 of the 16 contests. In doing so, he has earned 341 elected delegates, compared with Clinton’s 195 delegates, for a margin of 146 delegates. These caucuses have had approximately1 1.1 million participants. As a point of comparison, turnout in the caucuses has been only about 13 percent of the total number of votes President Obama got in the 2012 presidential election in these states.2

Sanders has done far worse in the states that have held primaries. Counting just primaries, including Tuesday’s in Washington,3 Sanders has won only 42 percent of the vote, 42 percent of delegates and 10 of the 34 statewide contests.4 Clinton earned 1,576 elected delegates, compared with Sanders’s 1,158, for a margin of 418. The turnout in these contests has been far higher than in the caucuses, with a little more than 24 million votes cast. That’s about 49 percent of the total number of votes Obama got in the 2012 election in these states.

The figure of 1.1 million voters in caucus states as compared to more than 24 million voters in primary states is rather breathtaking.  If this nomination process were an election system in a Mississippi or Alabama under the Voting Rights Act, the use of voter suppressing caucuses would have once constituted a reason for an injunction to be filed, but it is still the basis of the alleged champion of democracy, Sanders, demanding that super delegates in those states with caucuses give him their vote.  Considering the tiny numbers of those participating in the caucuses he doesn't have any kind of case that his results were representative sample of the voters as a whole.

That is shown by the results in Washington state where its wacky system of having a binding caucus and a non-binding primary runs as perfect an experiment as could be designed demonstrating that.   From the same article at Fivethirtyeight.

Whether [Shaun] King intended it or not, he implied that caucuses — which often require hours of participation and mean lower turnout — are representative of what would happen if a larger electorate had its say. Well, a funny thing happened in Washington on Tuesday: The state held a mail-in, beauty-contest primary — so voting was easy, but no delegates were at stake. (The Associated Press has declared Hillary Clinton the winner.) The results are still being finalized, but Clinton leads by about 6 percentage points with more than 700,000 votes counted. Sanders won the Washington caucuses, which had 230,000 participants, by 46 percentage points.

So, turnout was much higher in the Washington primary than in the caucuses, and Clinton did much better. Something similar happened in Nebraska, where Clinton lost the early March caucuses by 14 percentage points and won the early May primary, in which no delegates were awarded, by 7 points.

In short, when the number of votes cast for the same candidates in the same state was more than twice as large, Clinton easily won over Sanders.   It would be good to have more examples because I can't think of a better reason to get rid of the caucuses because they suppress votes and have a good chance of producing a less acceptable candidate for the party nomination.

Shaun King is a crack pot and a horses ass but I'm afraid he's typical of those who are sticking with Bernie Sanders to the bitter end and beyond.  No fact is going to alter their fantasy and their paranoid wishful thinking.   If anything the fact that Sanders, the candidate of the self-defined left, is the one who has had to rely on the most anti-democratic feature of the process, the caucuses.  Given this a good argument could be made that the super delegates who pledged to Clinton from those states are expressing the wishes of those who were unable to participate in the anti-democratic caucuses.   They certainly seem to be more typical of Democratic voters, in general, when the system facilitates the casting of votes.  Even one of the most insanely irrational Bernie or Busters I know of online loves to brag about how the by-mail vote in Washington State elections results in far higher votes than in states where that is made harder.  There are few states with a process more blatantly vote-suppressing than a caucus,  I doubt any which tried one would even be able to get it through the Roberts court, the voter suppression of it is so blatant.

I, for the life of me, can't believe that Bernie Sanders is doing what he's doing and saying what he's saying because it is at odds with his whole career in politics and the claimed aspirations of his supporters of whom I was recently one. 

That Bernie Sanders is grasping onto that rotted strand of argument is certainly counterproductive of any good intentions he might have.  It discredits him and it discredits any supposed movement he can salvage out of his support.   I don't think that movement will be led by any politician or any big name lefty.  That model has been a failure since before Eugene McCarthy so notably didn't produce anything enduring.   I would recommend you go back to this morning's lecture and listen to what Walter Brueggemann says about the difference between social justice coming from the top down and the bottom up.  I think the Sanders supporters are a good example of top down in the same way that the elite faction exiled to Babylon as compared to the bottom which were left in Jerusalem.   I think that people who understand that context because they take such information seriously are far more likely to be the source of an enduring struggle with a chance to make lasting change than the whiter, more credentialed Bernie Sanders supporters.

Thanks To Kevin Drum for Pointing This Out From the Oxford English Dictionary

Walter Brueggemann - Memory As Temptation To Nostalgia

This might not be the most welcome message on Memorial Day but it is the most important one. Especially the identification of military veterans as the personification of national identity and the consequent worship of the military and what it does.  Brueggemann extends that to the entire program of corporate-state oppression and destruction of people elsewhere and here.  What he says in this lecture is as radical, if not more radical than the statements of Malcolm X which got him kicked out of the Nation of Islam.

Later I will point out the dangers of nostalgia, which is especially dangerous for the left in the United States and elsewhere.  This year might be the year that has finally killed off any belief I had in the effectiveness of the secular left, their methods and even their goals.  Where those overlap with the actual struggle for equality and justice, even economic justice, I don't have any faith that the secular-atheist left will do anything but damage the possibility of achieving those.  I think the Sanders campaign is just the latest manifestation of that.  Even Bernie Sanders has pointed out that Pope Francis is more radical than he is.  I would say that is true not only in theory but in fact.  The Catholic Near East Welfare Association, the Catholic Relief Services and other Papal agencies have done more to make real peoples' real lives better than the entire secular left here.  And the radicalism of Brueggemann, James Cone, Marilynne Robinson and many others who you are unlikely to see championed in The Nation or Mother Jones as the foremost leftists of our time who are to the left of Pope Francis'.

Update:  When the camera pulls back during the question period, look at that audience that heard this incredibly radical lecture, took it seriously, took it as true and wanted to know how to apply it in life, here, now and without the permission of some revolutionary party.  Think about that the next time you hear some atheist snarking about "church ladies". 

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Memorial Day 2016: Reading Gravestones At The Cemetery

The last person in town who knew someone who died in the Civil war was 104 when she died.  She never married.  There are no flowers on her grave fifty-four years later.  

Love Me Or Leave Me - Heather Masse - 5/28/2016

Heather Masse and the Night Hawks from A Prairie Home Companion last night.  I don't think I've ever heard anyone sing the verse before.  And it was a pretty good performance.   I'm going to miss Garrison Keillor when he retires.  Hope he has a long and happy one.

The Past Is Quite Unpredictable

I began this year thinking I was going to devote a lot of time to reading, thinking about and discussing Reinhold Niebuhr but have spent most of it with Walter Brueggemann instead.   One of the revelations of listening to his amazing knowledge of the  Hebrew scriptures and his even more amazing resultant insights into their meaning is how inadequate even an informed but surface reading of them is.  A second thing is the extent to which you can't understand the Christian scriptures without a constant reference to the Jewish scriptures.  A third thing is how, as you go deeper into the entire Bible, you discover an ever deepening radical liberalism, the very opposite of what most propaganda about it asserts it to be.  I've pointed out a number of times that even the most arch conservative of recent popes, JP II and Benedict XVI among them, are truly radical in their economics and social positions - excepting, of course, whenever sexuality and reproduction are part of it.  I think that any inclination among those popes toward conservatism is thwarted by their need to take the scriptures seriously.  Most of the awful things that popes have done have had to be done in violation of the scriptures because they are uniformly forbidden by them.

Here is a lecture Walter Brueggemann gave a little more than a year ago, brimming with a radicalism that no atheist radical I've ever read or heard can begin to approach.  Memory as Temptation To Amnesia.

Bernie Pulls The Rug Out From Under His Most Ardent Fans and Campaign Managers. Will They Notice?

The Sanders campaign, the official one and the totally off the wall online, social media, campaign, has been running on the fumes of claiming that everything that doesn't favor Sanders is absolute proof that the Democratic process is "rigged."  That has become common non-knowledge to the extent that it was what Donald Trump said in his second withdrawal of a debate op to sanders.  When Bernie Sanders was asked about that by CBS's John Dickerson, he, Bernie Sanders, said that the process was not rigged.

"What has upset me, and what I think is -- I wouldn't use the word 'rigged' because we knew what the rules were -- but what is really dumb, is that you have closed primaries, like in New York State, where three million people who were Democrats or Republicans could not participate," Sanders added. "You have a situation where over 400 super delegates came on board Clinton's campaign before anybody else was in the race, eight months before the first vote was cast. That's not rigged, I think it's just a dumb process which has certainly disadvantaged our campaign."

First and most importantly, for Donald Trump, the beneficiary of the Republican winner-takes-all system and its many corruptions, including what Bernie Sanders is complaining about currently, closed primaries, to be calling the Democratic process corrupt is laughable.   For the Sanders campaign line that "the process is rigged" to be swiped by Trump and used by him only shows the extent to which the Sanders campaign is acting as a spoiler, helping the Republicans.

Second, it also shows that Sanders' high minded persona, when all  of the dross is removed, boils down to the fact that he's a politician and politicians generally favor what wins them an election.   There is nothing that shows more clearly that even the PR product, St. Bernie, is a politician than his flip-flops, reversals, and now nuances about the super delegates.  Now apparently, that he has gone to the position that they should flip to favor the loser in the popular vote he's shifted the complaint to them having declared their intention to vote for his opponent before it was clear that Sanders was losing the nomination.   If he's going to be consistent, if Hillary Clinton comes out ahead in the vote count, he should insist that super delegates supporting him vote for her and he would have to be an example to them by casting his super delegate vote for her.

The extent to which someone supports a given candidate is based on their candidate's positions is variable.  Given that candidates often change their positions - quite often a good thing - that's unavoidable.  And what you say about supporters not knowing the positions of their candidate can be said about their candidates, generally. Among the two Democratic candidates,  I think that no one benefits from being an unknown quantity to their supporters like Bernie Sanders is.   I've found in the past few days that a lot of them angrily deny that Sanders is a super delegate to the Democratic convention.  Hillary Clinton, of course, is the most investigated candidate for president in the history of the office, the most exposed, the closest to a known quantity that has ever been listed on a ballot. That has not stopped people from lying about her, most often to her disadvantage.

Some of the biggest lies I've heard during this campaign come from the unofficial Sanders campaign, lies told about Hillary Clinton and about the Democratic Party which is allegedly under Hillary Clinton's control.   With what Bernie Sanders said to John Dickerson the other day, those lies and paranoid declarations should stop but I don't think there's a chance in 100 that they will.   Those lies and the paranoia they've been rooted in have been encouraged by people at the top of the Sanders campaign, Jeff Weaver, Tad Devine, and others.   And the choice to not reign them in, to stop the irresponsibility and the enablement of Republicans from a nominally Democratic campaign ultimately has been Bernie Sanders'.   I might be wrong or even arguably wrong but I don't remember a campaign by someone for the Democratic nomination who has provided this level of useful subliminal and overt material for the Republicans to use against the candidate.  That is something that really rigs the political system and it's something that the alleged left has really been exposed as doing this year.  Is it any wonder why we aren't trusted as a reliable support group by Democratic politicians when we act like that?   A big factor in why the left doesn't have more influence is our own unreliability as a group.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Thelonious Monk - Ugly Beauty

Theolnious Monk, piano
Charlie Rouse, tenor sax
Larry Gales, bass
Ben Riley, drums

Green Chimneys 

Greens Want To Pick Up The Worst of Bernie or Busters

The animal mascot of the Green Party should be the vulture or some other carrion eating species, only I wouldn't insult any of those animals by supporting such symbolism.  Carrion eaters serve a purpose in nature, the Green Party is just an all too human con-game at this point. 

It would seem, from what I'm gathering from Greens in online babble and their official - well as official as it gets with Greens - statements, that they're intent on picking over the corpse of the Bernie Sanders campaign, once Sanders finally concedes that he lost the nomination.  That some of Sanders' more callow fans seem to believe the Greens will adopt him only shows how little they follow Green affairs - and considering how little there is to them, those aren't especially hard to follow.   I can't imagine Jill Stein giving it up for Bernie. Or Bernie Sanders being stupid enough to fall for that definitive suckering.  I at least give him that much credit, for now, at least. 

As far as I can recall, the Green Party began with the pretense that it was going to act as competition to the Democratic Party, pressuring it, the massively larger party, to move to the left.  As it didn't grow, as it didn't amass election wins and the power that could have had to such an effort, the Green Party came out with the tacitly stated strategy of wrecking the chances of the Democratic Party, of "punishing it" into moving left.  Some of the stupider and nuttier Greens would seem to believe they can supplant the Democratic Party as the Republicans did the Whigs - only I doubt any of them know enough about American history to know about that.  For most of them their world seems to extend no farther than the phony, trumped-up pseudo-scandals mounted by Republican-fascists and their media shills in the 1990s.  That's the kind of historical information that determines their thinking.

The Greens will probably get some support from Bernie Sanders supporters though little that they didn't have before.   I've pointed out how many of those who stood in line to change their affiliation to vote for him in our caucus openly said that they intended to vote for Jill Stein if Sanders didn't get the nomination.  I would guess a majority of those who stood up for Sanders in that caucus had never participated in the Democratic Party before, muttering darkly against the convener of our caucus, though he'd held back the beginning so all of those who hadn't managed to change their affiliation could do so in the hall way outside of the auditorium.  

I still like the idea of Democrats turning things around and swamping the Greens with a takeover, removing it from having the ability to spoil things in real politics.  This election shows that there are lots of people unwilling to learn from recent and very hard history.  Or too stupid to learn from it.  Stupid is the definition of anyone who, given its three decades of cheating people out of their money, their time, their support and, worst of all, their votes but who are ready to get conned out of those by the same gang of con artists who have done it to them before.  I am beginning to think someone has to step in and save them from their own folly.  And to save ourselves, as well. 

It is Tragic To See Bernie Sanders End Up As An Example of the Peter Principle

About the only good things that come out of the already old Trump-Sanders "debate" in-out-in-out routine is that it could generate a slogan, Bait and switch Trump.   The other good thing is it confirms the cynicism of the Sanders campaign, exposing the shocking news that Bernie Sanders is as egotistical and ready to go as low as he needs to in politics.

As I posted yesterday, it's an outrage that Sanders would even consider using the issue of women's health in a clear move to work with the massively sexist Donald Trump to attack the first woman to have won a major parties' presidential nomination.   It certainly goes way, way beyond the semi-infamous finger wagging at her and cutting into her talking during the debates between them.

It is never pleasant to find out someone you held up as a sort of hero turns out to have feet of clay. But I haven't seen a politician yet who doesn't at least have that as a potential, perhaps excepting a few like John Lewis, the late Robert Drinan and one of my all time political heroes, the late Shirley Chisholm.   You will note that all of them were in the House, not the Senate.

I don't know of Sanders plans on running for Senate again in two years or if he even intends to fill out his current term.   I do know that his career as a hero of leftist politics is damaged, probably beyond repair.  It is with me and I was a big fan of Bernie Sanders right up through February.  This latest stunt, as its clear he has lost the nomination, cooperating with Donald Trump to the extent he was clearly willing to in order to attack the clear and unambiguous winner of the Democratic nomination broke the last illusion about him I might have maintained.

I will be entirely surprised if he does more than go through the merest and most perfunctory of endorsements of Hillary Clinton.  After the past two days, I'll be surprised if he even does that much.   I don't expect he will work for her election or make any real effort to convince his supporters to vote for her.   In the cynical game he's playing he would weigh the loss of cred he has with the worst most immature and ignorant of his supporters as too high a price to pay to save the country from Trump. If he doesn't do everything in his power to support Hillary Clinton, the only person who stands between the world and a President Donald Trump, it's clear he never deserved the best of his supporters.

I don't think he will overlook the bitterness of the campaign and work for his rival's election as Hillary Clinton did in 2008 because if there's one thing this campaign has led me to believe,  he doesn't have what it takes to do that.   He might surprise us and if he does I will publish that I'm wrong in my suspicions, but I'm not waiting up to see it.

Bernie took Trump's bait and switch only to get switched and humiliated.  It might be another thing to take some comfort in, he and his team won't be going up against him for the presidency in November. That Jeff Weaver and Tad Devine didn't see that coming should certainly cut into their business.

Democrats should never give Tad Devine another dollars worth of business.  He has earned a boycott.


Sanders also continues to strike his absurd pose on the party platform, indeed going after Barney Frank and Dan Molloy, demanding they be kicked off the rules committee and the platform committee is where he 's spending his influence these days, settling scores over a document that is entirely meaningless.  I would hope that at least some of those who were put on it at his request would know better,  Keith Ellison certainly should.

If a friggin' party platform is so important to Bernie Sanders you wonder why he didn't join a party before last November so he could run on one.  I am stunned at how petty the pose he decided to strike on that platform is.  If he had acted up to his PR image instead of the way he did since the beginning of April, Sanders would be in a far stronger position to talk terms with Hillary Clinton ON SUBSTANTIAL ISSUES.  Every time he does something like this it only shows some rather amazing lack of political savvy for someone who's been a politician for four decades.

I think there are a lot of thing to learn from the rapid self-transformation of Bernie Sanders from heroic icon of the left to the angry, cranky, petty and, frankly embarrassingly spiteful figure he's become.  This last Trump debate thing is painfully pathetic.  I never would have wished this for the Sanders I so recently respected.

We should do whatever needs to be done to shake up the order of primaries.  There is no reason for Iowa and New Hampshire to maintain their role in determining who gets the most influence at the beginning.   New Hampshire has an especially mixed record.  It's ridiculous that the biggest state, a state which has a population far more diverse and so far more representative of the country than the virtually lily-white North of Boston states, comes dead last in the process and has the least influence on the decision.  It's absurd that one of the whitest states should have such a decisive influence on choosing the nominee for a party which wins only with the votes of members of minorities and women.  Or even who won't get weeded out of the process at the beginning.  If Sanders hadn't come from a neighboring state, I doubt he'd have won New Hampshire.   I would say the same for my own state,  Maine, especially as we retain the voter-suppressing caucus system.   States should be pressured to dump caucuses, that's something that should be done as soon as possible with whatever it takes to get it done.

The left has things to learn from this, as well.  Tragically,  I doubt it will.  The idiots who publish and write for and appear on the lefty media will see to that.  I include the "new media" Cenk Uygur might serve for the poster example of that.  Though I'm always ready to be pleasantly surprised, again, I'm not waiting up for it to happen.

Bernie Sanders, if he had never made this run, might end his days as a valuable Senator of the left, a gadfly afflicting the comfortable.  I think his decision to run for president, to take the main national stage has exposed his flaws/  His weaknesses, his shortcomings which might have never been noticed in the Senate but have the potential to move a tragic narrative to a terrible and destructive denouement this fall.  Whoever it was who decided it would be a good thing for him to make the run for the nomination set him up.   I suspect that person is Bernie Sanders.  He doesn't seem to be big on self-reflection and questioning his own motives.  They might have saved this election for the left.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Thelonious Monk - Eronel

Sahib Shihab, alto sax
Milt Jackson, vibes
Thelonious Monk,  piano
Al McKibbon,  bass
Art Blakey, drums


Thelonious Monk, piano
Kenny Dorham, trumpet
Lou Donaldson, alto sax
Lucky Thompson, tenor sax
Nelson Boyd, bass
Max Roach, drums

Men Telling Women What's Good For Them 2016

Donald Trump Says He'll Debate Bernie Sanders for "Women's Health Issues"

Two old men debating womens' health issues, IN FRIGGIN' 2016 AS A PUBLIC RELATIONS STUNT AGAINST HILLARY CLINTON,  ONE OF THOSE OLD MEN USING IT THAT WAY AS HE, THE ALLEGED CHAMPION OF THE LEFT WILL NEVER BE PRESIDENT, is a perfect example of why it is necessary to, FINALLY, have a woman who gets to make policy on that issue WITHOUT HAVING TO DEPEND ON SUCH MEN. 

Marilynne Robinson - The Inaugural Hope Hopkins Lecture at Hope University Liverpool

There is no one I've heard in the past decade who is more radical, advocating a radicalism that is more likely to be congenial to Americans, more likely to influence governments, the making of new laws and policies and real benefits to real lives than Marilynne Robinson.

This lecture is one I hope will be available in print because it is full of insights into both what led us away from a truly humanist future, equal, just, generous and liberal in the name of Enlightenment radicalism.  And it is a rare thing for an American radical, honestly generous about the promises that have and still exist in our own tradition.   She touches just about everything in it from how our universities have decayed under utilitarian and scientistic hegemony to presidential campaigns.  She defends the real humanism and its value, entirely more than the degraded atheist religion going by the same name, the only thing that so many of those with currently degraded educations know as "Humanism".

But the best thing is to listen to her.

The Responsible Left Has To Dump The Irresponsible Left: Random Thoughts At The End Of A Disastrous Week

That Bernie Sanders is showing how desperate he is, agreeing to Donald Trump's self-enabling one on one debate is just more evidence that he's going to be irresponsible to the end.  I'm disgusted with him.

Who knows if the "debate" will come off.  If it does I can guarantee you that the viewers, the Trump fans and the Bernie or Busters will both declare victory for their guy because they will never agree on anything except their hatred of Hillary Clinton, other than invective against her, they don't even speak the same language.

The Democratic Party has to face up to the fact that it is vulnerable to someone using the party the way Sanders has this year.   This is beyond the Nader 2000-2004 Republican-enabling spoiler act, this is someone who Democrats have pampered and befriended.   Sanders, an independent, has had super delegate status in the Democratic Party for years, now.   He's been befriended by and helped by some of the most senior Democrats in the Senate.

And the left has to face that its addiction to dreams of revolution, a revolution which would certainly not go to the left but would almost certainly end up with blatant, people getting shot in the head if not against the wall, fascism.   Most of those that the left has romanticized ended up with at least as bad if not entirely worse than what was overthrown.   I've come to conclude that among the first signs of a phony prophet of the left is the promise of a revolution.

I have also come to conclude that any progress we achieve will not flow from universities, neither the scholars nor the young folk.   In reading and hearing the political rhetoric of young'uns this year I'm embarrassed at how little they've learned from the idiotic, counterproductive grandstanding we were doing fifty years ago.  Children like excitement a lot more than they like disciplined consideration and reality, with some notable exceptions.  But the current crop of young activists aren't much like the Student Non-violent Coordinating Committee, they're more like the moronic Yippies and the asshole Weathermen who did ever so much more for the corporate state than they did poor people, black people, women or members of other oppressed groups.   The academics who will become prominent under such a celebrity based regime like those two groups will mostly be idiots who will say anything to retain what we used to call "relevance" which consisted mostly of telling brats what they wanted to hear.  You get status in the celebrity left through ratcheting up the empty rhetoric, not through speaking hard truth.

If, and it's a huge if, Hillary Clinton manages to win election without the real and full support of Bernie Sanders and his dead-enders, it will have the advantage of showing she didn't need them to win.   She will, though, need those who voted for him and who are not irresponsible and childish.  They will have to be the ones who support her heavily FROM THE RESPONSIBLE LEFT, and they will have to work hard to get out the Democratic vote in 2018 to seal any deal they earned by their disciplined support.  Hillary Clinton is far more likely to be impressed with us if we can prove she needs us AND CAN DEPEND ON US.   The left has been far from dependable in the past, much as it likes to tell itself that it has.  One of the reasons we are weak and without influence is our own fault.

That is a hard truth that the left doesn't like to hear but it's the truth.   If Hillary Clinton loses without the support of the responsible left, it will establish that it is unreliable and useless for making any kind of progress, sealing our impotent exile from real politics for decades to come.

He toots his own horn in triumph,
The Donald, the boss man, the Trump,
I’m told that in Britain,
And it’s oh so fittain,
His name’s gas expelled from the rump.

Yesterday was my birthday.  I've decided now that I've reached what's supposed to be a venerable age,  though I feel anything but, venerable, that is, I'm writing more poetry.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Hate Mail - ZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

The number of people who still tough out the fighting, back stabbing and vicious babble at Duncan Black's blog I have any regard for could be counted on one hand with fingers to spare.  I could not possibly care less what they think about anything I write.  

I, with decreasing frequency, feel sorry for Duncan who I suspect is just going through the motions for the income it brings him these days.  But he's the one who allowed it to devolve into what it's become.  He needs to find a purpose in life because his old one ain't working out.  

As for this morning's speculations, those will be ongoing.  I haven't had anyone tell me how, if ideas are the mere epiphenomena of physical structures in brains, varying physical structures could produce the same idea - such as a coherent conception of physical laws - and how many, even millions of brains believed to contain the same idea could be confidently believed to have constructed exactly the same physical structure to BE the substrate that produces the same idea when the life histories, the physical brains of people are so individual and so varied.  

If the "brain-only" "brain-trusters" at Duncan's home for little wonderers who wonder little aren't interested in that, I couldn't care less.